Collogan named Hot Springs Citizen of the Year at 83rd Chamber Banquet

Photo by Dick Kettlewell/Fall River County Herald-Star

Gerald Collogan, center, holds the plaque he was awarded at this past weekend’s Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce Banquet after being named the 2023 Citizen of the Year. Standing to his left is fellow award nominee Shelley Hagans-Brown. Not pictured is nominee Rodnew Watts. Also pictured is Chamber of Commerce staff, from left, Zoe Pattiani, Olivia Mears and Jarrett Weimer. See page B2 for more photos of other award winners from the night.


HOT SPRINGS – About 160 people attended the 83rd annual Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce Meeting & Awards Dinner on March 11, which included a “Taste of Hot Springs” from local dining establishments Winner’s Circle, Two Cows Creamery & Bistro, Smokin’ Mexican, Southern Hills Mercantile & Taproom, Silk Road, Sonny’s Super Foods and Lynn’s Dakotamart.

Included in the night’s list of awards was the prestigious Citizen of the Year honor which was presented to longtime Hot Springs resident Gerald Collogan. Other nominations for the honor included local businessman Rodney Watts and Shelley Hagans-Brown, who is the current President of Keep Hot Springs Beautiful.

According to his nominating information, Collogan earned the award for his extensive volunteer work. “He was a Scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts, for more than 40 years, teaching values like respect, resourcefulness, honesty, and teamwork. He has been the co-chair of the Main Street Arts & Crafts Festival, for at least 20 years. He is instrumental in growing this 46-year- old event, which he took on nearly 15 years ago, that brings hundreds of people to Hot Springs every year. The Main Street Arts & Crafts Committee, contributes money for improvements to Centennial Park and Gerry is frequently spotted at many City parks assisting with maintenance and upkeep, assuring they remain beautiful for those who visit and utilize them. He also volunteers countless hours of his time for tree maintenance and is a volunteer on the Parks and Recreation Committee. Gerry helps clean up corners, sidewalks, vacant areas, and gutters all around town, clearing garbage and debris as well as shoveling snow in wintertime. He has tackled projects with the Elks Club, United Way, Hot Springs Schools, and other organizations. He has never sought attention or praise for his work, and there may be dozens of activities that Gerry undertakes for the betterment of the community that have not been listed here or that he does not get credit for. Gerry Collogan is a proud Hot Springs resident who continues to give his time and energy for the betterment of Hot Springs.”

Another of the honors presented was the Community Pride Award, which went to the Chautauqua Craftsmen and Artisans of the Black Hills. Other nominees included local resident Sarah Beckham who has spearheaded a project to fix up some downtown storefronts; the local women’s singing group Sandstone Singers; the Hot Springs Farmers Market group, the Hot Springs Elks Lodge #1751 and local businessman Rodney Watts.

According to their nominating information, the Chautauqua Artisans Market has been working to bring diverse culture and art to the community since 2016. In 2022 they began their work organizing World Fest, a 3-year biannual music event with a different international musical group touring each time. Visiting groups perform free concerts at local schools and for the Community, enriching our lives with their talent. Chautauqua continually works to obtain grants; past grants have funded classes from a Jingle Dancer/Storyteller, a clay sculptor, and an acrylic painter. These artists put on workshops at the schools, Boys and Girls Club, Seven Sisters, State Veterans Home, and also for the community through Chautauqua’s Classroom. In addition, they organize performances by local musicians for the Chamber’s Balloon Festival and the Chilly Chili Cook-off Concert. Through all their community classroom and outreach activities, Chautauqua works to advance the arts for all ages in our community. 

Other award winners included the following:

Retail Business of the Year (TIE) – River Run Greenhouse and Minnekahta Coffee & Gifts. Other nominees included Bomgaars and Lucy & The Green Wolf

Service Business of the Year – Nelson’s Oil & Gas. Other nominees included Bills Heating & Cooling, Edward Jones, Hot Springs Ambulance Service, Wilson Electric, Hot Springs Housing & Redevelopment and Chamberlain McColley Funeral Home.

Hospitality Business of the Year – The Mammoth Site. Other nominees included Fall River Ranch RV Resort and Highland Meadows Resort.

Employer of the Year – Lynn’s Dakotamart

Excellence in Digital Media – Red Dirt & Pearls Boutique

The Director’s Award – Chris Kattke

Fall River County Herald Star

EDGEMONT OFFICE: 410 2nd Avenue   Edgemont, SD 57735-0660 | 605.662.7201
HOT SPRINGS OFFICE: 334 S. Chicago St.  Hot Springs, SD 57747 | 605.745.3930
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